Theatre-owner and musical-helmer Andrew Lloyd Webber was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. Fortunately the disease was caught in it's early stages, but the removal of his prostate gland has rendered him unable to produce an erection. Opening up in an upcoming episode of Piers Morgan's Life Stories series, the composer remarks "I am a ladies man who can never make love. I'm resigned to that." Looking on the bright side he claims he still sees himself as fortunate for having survived his battle. "I have my music, I have my children, I am the luckiest man" he says. " If I'd left it, the chances are I'd be on chemotherapy now and it would be a nightmare."
He reveals that he and his wife did look into alternative solutions to his predicament but was unimpressed. "I did go to the sex education [clinic] for people who have lost their prostates and [the councillor] was very sweet. She said 'Ooh, but you can try viagra, you can try all that and see if it works. She then produced this contraption, a sort of pump which, allegedly, was in some Austin Powers movie. I just said 'I can't use this thing!'…you just have to live with it. You just have to laugh." The revealing interview is set to air on Saturday 9th April at 9pm on ITV1.
It has been a trying few years for Lloyd Webber. As well as his cancer battle, plans for the sale of four of his theatres, the New London, the Palace, the Cambridge and Her Majesty's Theatre to a consortium led by former BBC Chairman and ITV Chief Executive Michael Grade and theatre agent Michael Linnet fell apart last year. The sale was mooted to have been for around the £50 million mark. Following the lukewarm reception to his long-awaited sequel to The Phantom Of The Opera, Love Never Dies, there was a lot of pressure for his next big budget venture, The Wizard Of Oz, to deliver the goods. A tv tie-in show Over The Rainbow helped select eventual Dorothy, Danielle Hope, but many viewers and critics felt the 'search for a star' tv formula that had helped Lloyd Webber find leads for reboots of The Sound Of Music, Joseph and Oliver had grown a little tired, and no plans for similar series are currently in the pipeline. Reviews for The Wizard Of Oz which opened at The London Palladium earlier this year have been mixed, and not really as dazzling as Lloyd Webber may have hoped.
Love Never Dies also failed to win any awards at the recent Laurence Olivier Awards despite being nominated in several categories.